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Why Cowboys Should (or Not) Bring Dez Bryant Back

Dez Bryant continues to make noise on social media posting workouts with Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott and even featuring a recent appearance by Running Back Ezekiel Elliott. Bryant has made it clear time and time again that he wants to be back in the gridiron playing football and “throwing up the X.” However, a two-year absence and an Achilles injury raise questions regarding his level of play if he comes back at 31-years-old.

Let’s be honest, these questions are fair. And you can’t blame those who believe he can still play just as you can’t blame those who believe his career is done either. After all, Dez is the all-time franchise leader in receiving touchdowns. He was named a first-team All-Pro in 2014 when he led the league in touchdowns and he’s made three Pro Bowls. But he’s also a wide receiver that hasn’t played since 2017 and hasn’t been elite since 2014.

Tony Romo subscribers argue that #9 “made” Bryant and that he wasn’t that great. Meanwhile, some will say that Bryant was and still is great, but that Prescott didn’t know how to use his strengths. Football fans, especially Cowboys fans, have a hard time agreeing.

So, how can you truly look at Bryant’s possibilities of wearing a Star next season? Let’s try to take a look at both sides.

Why the Cowboys should bring Dez back

Despite extending Amari Cooper’s contract, the Cowboys need a third wide receiver. Randall Cobb will play over 200 miles away from Arlington after signing with the Houston Texans. The first wave of free agency has come and gone and the Cowboys (understandably) haven’t filled their vacancy in the slot just yet.

Right now, it all points toward them looking for their guy in the 2020 NFL Draft. This is considered a loaded wide receiver class and while pick #17 might be too late to take one of the top prospects (such as CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs or Jerry Jeudy), they shouldn’t have much trouble finding one on Day 2 or maybe even Day 3.

But then again, there are other important needs worth considering. Cornerback, defensive end, safety, and even defensive tackle are positions that must be upgraded before the season. What if they can’t turn to a rookie to fill the starting slot wide receiver spot?

There are risky, unproven in-house options for the team such as the 2018 6th-round draft pick Cedrick Wilson but we haven’t seen much from him either. To be specific, he has five career catches in six games played. To be even more specific, he played in 75 offensive snaps in 2019 (6.69%). 50 of those came versus the New York Jets. That day, his name in the box score featured five catches.

It isn’t my intention to roast Wilson here as I thought he could be a special prospect coming out of Boise State. But I’m not going to say that he’s a better option to start in the slot instead of Dez because he likely isn’t. And behind Wilson? You’ll find the names of Noah Brown, Ventrell Bryant, Lance Lenoir, and Devin Smith.

Bringing Dez back would make sense if you can’t find a replacement in the Draft. Let him play in the slot and have a true warrior lining up behind Cooper and Michael Gallup. Bryant is still likely good at fighting for 50-50 balls and could be a solid red zone threat.

Why the Cowboys shouldn’t bring Dez back

Then again, how much do we know about the 2020 version of Dez Bryant? The last time he played in the NFL was in 2017. He left the Cowboys in somewhat toxic fashion even calling beloved Linebacker Sean Lee a snake. Since then, he was signed by the New Orleans Saints in 2018 only to tear his Achilles tendon in practice before even playing a game.

At 31-years-old, can you assume he’s the same after such an injury? Heck, when was the last time Dez was truly Dez Bryant? The right answer to that question is 2014. He was unbelievable that year. He caught 16 touchdowns that season. Only 10 players in the history of the NFL have scored more receiving touchdowns in a single season. Since those first four years of his career, things haven’t been the same.

In 2015, injuries and a disastrous QB carousel kept him from having a decent season. But we’ve seen “elite” receivers like DeAndre Hopkins shine despite having a good quarterback under center. On Dak’s rookie season he was good, but nothing very special. The same goes for 2017, to the point where the Cowboys decided to let him go.

And now, time for the biggest question mark of all. Is Dez what you want in a slot receiver? In 2017, he lined up in the slot only 17% of the time. There are a few big slots in the NFL, sure, but Bryant might simply not be what the Cowboys are looking for right now.

The Draft should offer plenty of options for the team to find a younger, healthier wide receiver that fits the position they’re trying to fill. While I’d be excited as a fan to watch Dez come back to the Cowboys, it’s tough to believe it’d be the right call.

Do you want Dez Bryant back in 2020?

Tell me what you think about “Why Cowboys Should (or Not) Bring Dez Bryant Back” in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

What do you think?

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Mauricio Rodriguez

Written by Mauricio Rodriguez

I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @MauNFL.


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  1. What could it hurt to bring Dez back on a prove it contract like they gave Aldon Smith. Making It with incentives with minimum salary and with bonuses for number of catches and touchdowns.

  2. I think they should bring Dez back what do you have to lose if he does not workout then you move on from him your not going to pay him a lot of money, they brought back Jason Witten and he was as slow as molasses so I say give Dez a chance if he works out then you have someone that can help this team.

  3. Dez is a Dallas Cowboy 4life! A big receiver, in the slot, with Coop & Gallup on the outside, and Zeke running wicked inside and out! What the What??? Personally, I think it’s a no-brainer. BRING DEZ BACK!!!

  4. Why would dez be a slot wr? That’s gallup all day. You put him opposite of coop and create advantages for the entire team. For depth if coop gets injured too.

    • I agree , but we already have your no. 1 an 2 receivers we only need a 3 . McCarthy will try in the redzone . An we will know on TV if it work or not

  5. Yes they should bring back Dez. He is a leader that can bring the team together. Also if a wideoute goes down or gets tired who better to fill that roll.

  6. Everybody, including you are making a big deal out of nothing. You are looking way too much into this. Sign him and let him go to camp. Who the F cares???? IF he is good enough McCarthy puts him on the roster. Why are we analizing this so much? It’s all about training camp and how he plays in action. Sitting here writing pros and cons about somebody we “all” no nothing about because he needs to be seen on the field of in football action. All your opinions mean squat! He comes to camp and we all see. He is equivalent to a non drafted free agent at this point so please stop with pros and cons bullshit*t because nobody knows.

  7. Sign him to a low risk, high reward deal. Low guaranteed money and some high incentives for catches and td’s. Cut him or bench him if it doesn’t work out. I think their is more upside than downside. He should create match up issues.

  8. Definitely should bring him back . Cooper is a threat from deep, Gallup is Amazing . Jarwin is a guaranteed 20 Yards. So why not add another threat in the red zone when we need him ? My answer is Yes!

    • With Cooper getting double teamed. He’s not great at making something happen. So we need someone who will also be looked at as maybe double team. (Dez) and then you have young Dez (Gallup) as a real threat now. And then Jarwin aww man how much better can that get????

      • How fast and quick is he? When he last played, his speed and quickness was gone and he was demandi g the ball, even though he was not getting open. Three years later, what has changed? He is 3 years older and had a major injury, torn achilles.

        I prefer to draft a speedier and quicker 21-22 year old without the drama.

  9. I feel like Cowboys should sign Dez, its no question here. Signing Dez doesn’t stop you from still drafting a young slot WR in the draft. Dez will create mismatches with Cooper and Gallop on the field. They can get creative and put Gallop or Cooper in slot some plays with Dez on the outside you have so much to work with especially if you talking about getting Pollard more involved with the passing game! Wow!

  10. Not in this lifetime. Dez was good and bad when he was young, now his limited skill set just makes him bad. We have three receivers to fill the outside in Cooper, Gallup, and Brown. We need a slot receiver with ours signing with Houston. Dez has not been able to seperate from defenders in years which is a must for a slot receiver, hence why they put him in motion over the last couple of years. I would rather see Dallas use a low draft pick for a slot receiver in lieu of Dez complaining on the sideline about not getting thrown to after he quits the route when he is 3rd/4th in succession for the last play…

  11. Dez does seem a lot poised and eager to have a chance to win a super bowl this upcoming season so why not let him be himself on the football field alongside Amari and Gallup. He hated Garrett as much as a cowboy fan. You can also tell he respects Prescott’s leadership.

  12. What the hell, give him a look. If he has the chemistry with Dak that they say is there, it could work out for the better for the Cowboys. In the end, that’s what matters. GO COWBOYS !!


  14. I say Yes, What do you have to lose, he brings experience and maybe a spark, and he wants to win. Use him on Goal Line he is a Great Blocker too! The name alone will demand respect from Defenses.

  15. Why Not, What do you have to lose, he brings experience and maybe a spark, and he wants to win. Use him on Goal Line he is a Great Blocker too! The name alone will demand respect from Defenses.

  16. Please bring my sexy chocolate back. I miss him soooo much. I believe he will bring wonders to the team along with Dak, Zeke, Amari, and Gallup.

  17. The BOYS SHOULD BRING DEZ BACK. I did not hear any of the negative statements when WITTEN was allowed to return. DEZ is more suited to help the team than WITTEN was and he got 5 MILLION and NOT ONE OF YOU BITCHED ABOUT THAT. I think DEZ would be a tremendous help to the team. You guys are missing how much Dez helps the team on the side lines when things aren’t going well. SOME OF YOU ARE HATERS, GET A LIFE AND MOVE ON.

  18. Wow. . . .some of you don’t realize how toxic Dez was when he left as an out of shape football player.

    I doubt he’d make it through camp. And if you don’t know what Aldon Smith has done to get back to the NFL. . . .you need to do some research.

  19. Dez had problems separating from DBs in his final 2-3 years in Dallas. I doubt that will change, but it doesn’t hurt to bring him into camp. Who knows, he may surprise people.

  20. Id say bring him back in the sense that he respects Dak and his leadership and hopefully he’s learned to not demand the ball and falls in line in whoever is open gets the ball. Why not he could get those 50/50 balls in the red zone why N OT!

  21. He’s hungry and he’s humble. He’s focused and determined. He deserves a shot at redemption and remember… Linehan’s transparent offense did no one a favor. Maybe Kellen Moore’s schematics is the answer to Dez’s success. The 4th, 5th, and 6th receiver on the 2019 roster attributed to one TD (Devin Smith against Washington) Thats why you sign Dez. A veteran who will know his place on the field and will know how to produce and be successful. Remember…. he’s healthy, hungry, and humble (and will be inexpensive)

  22. It would seem Jason Garrett and Co built up quite the following and Hatered for Dez. Why would you have a problem and campaign against a guy whom is 31 working hard and dedicated to playing vs celebrating a 33 year old Reciver in Emanuel Sanders. Can’t block or run routes well and speed is in decline. Coach Macarthy is here to break us Ownership, and Fans from the tenure of Mediocrity and clapping. Throw up the X

  23. Hmmmm…So Dez is seen all over town running routes with this QB and this QB, Word is he’s fresh he’s fast he’s stronger, Duh there no one there to guard him! He’s in shorts with no pressure, ppl, guys cowboys sigh him please!!! Enough already! So Dez can be Dez go into training camp pitch a fit get into fights and blame everyone else not making the team, my god enough already just stick Devin Smith in the slot and poof DEZ who!!!! Yuup just do it, it’s getting old with all this DEZ stuff ohhhh and so is he…close the year book already

  24. I say bring him back they have nothing to lose in bringing him back and if they get one in the draft he can also help out with the younger guys.

  25. Probably, like most people, he needs money. Sign him to the lowest amount the NFL allows with no incentives. His incentive is to prove he’s worthy of a new contract the next season either with the Cowboys or the 31 other teams that are taking a pass on him. Here’s my problem with him: to my eye and my eye only, he was a half game player. By that, he only seemed to appear in the first half of second half of the game but rarely throughout the whole game. Once again, that’s how I viewed him. Was that all his fault? Probably not. Some had to do with the play selection, other receivers open, the QB was wildly inaccurate or that he was standing on the sideline chirping instead of on the field. It just seems weird that three or four years ago people were complaining about how terrible his route running was, his failure to get separation and his dropped balls, his sideline distractions and he was being paid too high for the production he gives. I doubt too much that any of that has changed except we’re a couple years further down the road and he has had an Achilles tendon repair. I will say this from the things he’s posted, he looks in great physical shape and he is definitely a workout warrior.

  26. For me it’s a no-brainer bring Dez back !!!!!!!! There is only good that could come from this for Dez and the Boyz can’t wait till football starts be safe everyone

  27. Bring the man back period!!! He doesn’t demand big money at this point in his career and after all we brought Witt back and it wasn’t much of an impact. So what do we have to lose? Bryant on a bad day is better upgrade than Cobb regardless of injury. Let the man finish his career in Dallas where it all began. Loyalty over everything!!

  28. I think you should give DEZ Brian a second chance everybody deserves it he’s trying real hard I think they need him

  29. Bring Dez Back it’s only right. Jerry give 2nd chances why hold it up. We loaded with talent this our yr,dez should be involved. We signed Witten last yr .keep paying Sean Snake Lee he in da way missing tackles, confused out there

  30. There’s been a lot of talk comparing Dez to Jason Witten and how Witten came back for a year and that he was slow as molasses and broken, but I’d just like to say this; throughout Jason’s whole career with The Dallas Cowboys he was never anything but a stand-up man on and off the field. Jason always seemed to have the teams best interest at heart. Witten always was and is a stand-up man and team player so all you guys just back the f— off Witten.
    As far as Dez is concerned, maybe he’s matured over the last few years and he finally realizes it’s not all about me me me. I say, give him a chance. If he can make it through training camp, sign him to a one year low $ contract with production incentives and see what he’s working with. We have nothing to lose. I’ve watched some of his workouts and he’s working hard. If he makes the cut and the day comes, he should retire a Dallas Cowboy just like Jason Witten.

  31. Heck, bring both Dez & Tavon Austin back on vet minimum deals, use draft picks on other needs, & cut them if they arent impressive in preseason.
    Also, why not line Amari up at slot & start Bryant/smith/smith/johnson/Bryan or some other big guy/burner at the X?

  32. Under guidelines of a contract. I would bring him back. what do you have to loose? Nothing! and after a season go from there. I believe he would be much better than before. So open the door and let him in.

  33. The draft needs to focus on rebuilding the defense. We lost too many starters. Other than losing Travis Frederick, the offense is not in horrible shape. The Cowboys need to alternate Dez and Zeke in the slot. Yes I said Zeke. We have RB depth to scheme other team defense and get Zeke 1 vs 1 with a LB he should be able to run right by or just run. Dak is about to get paid, Zeke got paid, And Amari got paid. I think our team is ready to play team football and win games. I want Dez for the locker room. We need passionate leaders.

  34. Dez would be a welcome addition. He sells tickets and scores touchdowns. Scoring touchdowns puts butts in seats and it takes people’s minds off the ill of our world. Dez also gives Dallas another option in the red zone. I don’t know what Jerry hasn’t signed Dez…

  35. Of course they have to bring him back I think they would be stupid if they don’t he is up there with all the top receivers everybody knows that.

  36. Jerry. Lets. Put. Our. Egos a side. Bring. Back. The x. And lets. Play. Football. Dez. Has. Fire. In. His. Game. And. This. Team. Could. Make. Jimmy. Johnson. Cut. His hair. Lets. Go. Dez. I. M. Pulling. For. You. See. You. Guys. In. Tampa. Thro. Up. The. X. X. X

  37. Yes give it a CHANCE the Cowboys have absolutely NOTHING to lose
    and Dez has EVERYTHING to lose do it

  38. It’s a wrap for Dez…. Thank god, He’s nothing but trouble, and now with CEE DEE LAMB, Ha Dez WHO!!! He will be long forgotten, I’m so happy he won’t be in mini camp…

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